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Anyone Noticing The Smaller Goalie Pads?

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

This past off-season, in these low-scoring days of the 2010s, the NHL mandated the skyscraping goalie pads of recent vintage be shortened. Using a formula corresponding to each goaltender’s dimensions, the aim was to make the pads more “anatomically proportional.” The result was that some goaltenders were required to lop as much as a couple of inches off their pads — a move the league hoped and expected would lead to fewer saves and more scoring.

Last year, the league average save percentage was .909. This season, heading into Friday’s games, it has shot up to .912, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Goaltenders have been better, not worse, since one of their defining pieces of equipment was altered.

Meanwhile, if the overriding intention of the goalie-equipment tweak was to produce more goals — well, so far it hasn’t had the desired effect. Scoring is at its lowest level since the 2004-05 lockout, down to 5.30 goals a game this season from 5.31 the season before.

Smaller pads, in other words, are so far shaping up to be a big flop.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


DrewBehr's avatar

Maybe Gary will just have to start accepting that goaltenders are athletes, too…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 11/30/13 at 06:12 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I’m so sick and tired of the NHL playing grab-ass over this issue.
Let’s forget about the debate of whether the NHL needs more scoring or not.

For this argument’s sake, where the NHL is looking to add goals, all of these little gimmicks and tiny rule changes are doing nothing at all.

If the NHL wants more scoring, 1 of 2 things need to happen:
1. SHRINK the goalie gear. Don’t just do little Nancy alterations like shorten the leg pads.
SHRINK WRAP all of the equipment! This means chest protectors and pants as well.
Basically, get the goalies to look like Ken Dryden.
If the the NHL and NHLPA can’t get that done, then…
2. Make the nets bigger. It doesn’t have to be by much. How many posts get hit in a game? Ron Wilson did a study once and found that on average, players hit the posts more than 4 times a game.
If you increase the net by the size of the current pipes, that could mean between 2 and 4 goals a game.
That would bring us to between 7 and 8 goals per game - which is the number the NHL is looking for.

I don’t want to turn this into a debate of whether the NHL needs more goals or not.
People on either side of the fence won’t be convinced either way, but if we get into a healthy debate of how the NHL could get more goals per game, IMO, the only solutions are what I’ve described.

Adding lines, taking them away, creating trapazoids, etc, aren’t and haven’t done the trick.
If you want more goals, it’s quite simple, give the shooters more square footage to score goals.
More net, means more goals.
Even a 5 year old could tell you that.

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/30/13 at 06:58 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Hank, agree with #1 but I’d like that extended to the players as well. Make the leg pads, elbow and shoulder pads nice and slim as well. The tech is there to do this. Go back and look at Gretzky and Messier on the Oiler teams, they looked like they didn’t have any shoulder pads on. I want the players to look like that as well as the goalies looking like Dryden or Fuhr or Hextall back in the day.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 12/02/13 at 10:12 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

phillyd, totally agree.

I also wouldn’t mind a compromise for the goalies. If they have to shrink to slim gear, then go back to wood sticks for shooters.

Posted by Hank1974 on 12/02/13 at 10:20 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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